Prosodic boundary in the speech of children with autism
Pepp, Sue JE
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Pepp̩, S. (2007) Prosodic boundary in the speech of children with autism, Proceedings of the 16th International Congress of the ICPhS, , , pp. 1965-1968,
Expressive prosody is thought to be disordered in autism, and this study sets out to evaluate one aspect (prosodic boundary) to investigate a) how nave judges rate utterances for atypicality; b) whether pitch and duration measurements in those utterances differ from those of typicallydeveloping children; and c) whether children with autism can use prosodic boundary in speech for linguistic distinctions. Samples were drawn from children aged between 5 and 13 years; 31 with language-delayed high-functioning autism (LDHFA), 40 with Asperger's syndrome (AS) and 119 with typical development (TD). Results showed that nave judges perceived children with LD-HFA as sounding more atypical than those with AS, who in turn were marginally more atypical than those with TD. Measurements suggested those with LDHFA had wider pitch-span than those with TD. The groups did not differ on linguistic functionality, and it is possible that factors other than prosody contributed to the perception of atypicality.